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Encyclopedia > Jack In the Green
A Bogie at Jack in the Green, Hastings
A Bogie at Jack in the Green, Hastings

In the 16th and 17th centuries in England people would make garlands of flowers and leaves for the May Day celebration. After becoming a source of competition between Works Guilds these garlands became increasingly elaborate. This got out of hand and the garland eventually became so big it covered the entire man. This became known as Jack in the Green. Image File history File links Download high resolution version (1600x1045, 1310 KB) Description: Jack in the Green Mummer, Hastings, 2004 Source: self-made Date: released 1. ... Image File history File links Download high resolution version (1600x1045, 1310 KB) Description: Jack in the Green Mummer, Hastings, 2004 Source: self-made Date: released 1. ... A guild is an association of persons of the same trade or pursuits, formed to protect mutual interests and maintain standards of morality or conduct. ...

By the turn of the 19th century the custom had started to wane, the Victorians disapproving of such bawdy and anarchic behaviour. The Lord and Lady of the May with their practical joking were replaced by a pretty May Queen. There was no place for the drunken noisy Jack in the Green. The May Queen is a girl (usually a teenage girl from a specific school year) who is selected to ride at the front of a parade for May Day celebrations. ...

Jack-in-the-Green was revived in Hastings by a group of morris dancers in 1983 and has become a major event on the calendar in the town. A Morris dance is a form of folk dance. ...

Jack is a colourful figure, nine feet tall, and covered in greenery and flowers. He is accompanied by attendants, known as Bogies, who are completely disguised in green rags and vegetation. The attendants play music, dance and sing as they guide Jack through the streets to celebrate the coming of Summer.



In some cultures, holly represents masculinity while ivy represent femininity, as the two plants were often found together in the wild. By combining the attributes of holly and ivy in their decorations the belief was that evil spirits could be warded off. Species Ilex ambigua- Sand Holly Ilex amelanchier- Swamp Holly Ilex aquifolium- European Holly Ilex bioritsensis Ilex buergeri Ilex canariensis- Small-leaved Holly Ilex cassine- Dahoon Holly Ilex centrochinensis Ilex ciliospinosa Ilex colchica Ilex collina Ilex corallina Ilex coriacea Ilex cornuta- Chinese Holly Ilex crenata- Japanese Holly Ilex cyrtura Ilex decidua... Species See text Hedera (English name ivy (plural, ivies) is a genus of about 10 species of climbing or ground-creeping evergreen woody plants in the family Araliaceae, native to the Atlantic Islands, Europe, North Africa and across Asia east to Japan. ...

Beyond its association with holly, ivy maintains its significance thanks to the Greek myth of Cissos, a dancing girl whose tireless performance during a feast left her dead at the feet of Dionysus. Cissos was granted immortality by being transformed into the vine plant. The Romans knew Dionysus as Bacchus, and ivy was popularly worn as a garland during their Bacchanals in the belief that it would stave off drunkenness. Dionysus with a panther and satyr, in the Palazzo Altemps (Rome, Italy) Dionysus or Dionysos (Ancient Greek: Διώνυσος or Διόνυσος; also known as Bacchus in both Greek and Roman mythology and associated with the Italic Liber), the Thracian god of wine, represents not only the intoxicating power of wine, but also its...


British progressive rockgroup Jethro Tull made a song called Jack-In-The-Green on their Songs From The Wood album. Progressive rock (shortened to prog, or prog rock when differentiating from other progressive genres) is an ambitious, eclectic, and often grandiose style of rock music which arose in the late 1960s, reached the peak of its popularity in the early 1970s, and continues as a musical form to this day. ... Jethro Tull can refer to: Jethro Tull (agriculturist), inventor of the seed drill Jethro Tull (band), progressive rock band This is a disambiguation page — a navigational aid which lists other pages that might otherwise share the same title. ... Songs From The Wood (1977) is an album by Jethro Tull, the first of a trio of folk rock albums, Songs from the Wood, Heavy Horses and Stormwatch. ...

Jules Holland wrote a record called 'Jack o The Green' in conjuction with Suggs aka Graham McPherson after Suggs witnessed an ancient ceremony in Whitstable, which celebrates the coming of Spring with the Jack O The Green parading through the streets to an old English folk melody. Each year Suggs has heard this and has been much taken with it. He then went on his holidays to Tuscany where, in a small village square, a band of local musicians gathered with traditional Tuscan instruments. Their own Green Man appeared and to Suggs' amazement they played the same folk melody. Jools Holland at the Tsunami Relief concert in Cardiffs Millennium Stadium, January 22nd 2005 Julian Miles Holland, OBE (born 24 January 1958) is a British pianist, bandleader, television presenter, architectural eccentric and pop music enthusiast. ... Graham McPherson, - born 13 January 1961 - (more widely known as Suggs) is the vocalist of the popular second wave ska band, Madness. ...

Jack in the Green is the name of Painting No. 10 in the Masquerade (book) by Kit Williams, where the green gelatin where Jack appears is a pun on Jack in the Green and the jelly itself bears something of a resemblance to the Jack in shape. Masquerade is a children’s book, written and painted by Kit Williams, which sparked a worldwide treasure hunt by concealing clues to the location of a jeweled golden hare, created and hidden somewhere in the British Isles by Williams. ... Kit Williams is the author of Masquerade (Jonathan Cape, London, 1979, ISBN 0224016172), a pictorial story book which contained clues to the location of a genuine valuable golden hare buried by Williams, and witnessed by Bamber Gascoigne, somewhere in Britain. Kit Williams said: If I was to spend two years...

A character called Jack in the Green has appeared in a number of comic books, including Neil Gaiman's Midnight Days, Swamp Thing Vol.2 #47 and Hellblazer: Lady Constantine #s 1,2 and 3. The cover of Neil Gaimans Midnight Days. ... The Swamp Thing is a fictional character created by Len Wein and Bernie Wrightson for DC Comics, and featured in a long-running horror-fantasy comic book series of the same name. ... Hellblazer is a comic book series published by the Vertigo imprint of DC Comics, which features the central character John Constantine. ...

See also

The Bacchanalia were wild and mystic festivals of the Roman god Bacchus. ... Beltane or Beltaine (from Irish Beáltaine or Scottish Gaelic Bealtuinn; both from Old Irish Beltene, bright fire from *belo-te(p)niâ), where *belo- is allied to English word bale (as in bale-fire), the Anglo-Saxon bael, and the Lithuanian baltas, meaning white or shining (from which the... Dionysus with a panther and satyr, in the Palazzo Altemps (Rome, Italy) Dionysus or Dionysos (Ancient Greek: Διώνυσος or Διόνυσος; also known as Bacchus in both Greek and Roman mythology and associated with the Italic Liber), the Thracian god of wine, represents not only the intoxicating power of wine, but also its... In Roman mythology, Flora was a goddess of flowers and the season of spring. ... The Green Man is a symbol of uncertain origin and meaning, commonly employed as a decorative architectural device in the British Isles and many parts of continental Europe. ... May Day is a name for various holidays celebrated on May 1 (or in the beginning of May), the most famous one being Labour Day. ... A Morris dance is a form of folk dance. ... Members of the Lewes Borough Bonfire Society parade behind their banner wearing blue and white smugglers colours, as part of the torchlit procession on Bonfire Night in Lewes, Sussex. ... Walpurgis Night (Valborgsmässoafton in Swedish, Vappu in Finnish, Volbriöö in Estonian, Valpurģu nakts or Valpurģi in Latvian, Walpurgisnacht in German) is a holiday celebrated on April 30 or May 1, in Finland, Sweden, Estonia, Latvia and Germany. ...


  • First of May by Albert Ludovici 1932


  • Fowlers Troop and the Deptford Jack in the Green: A History of an Old London May Day Tradition by Sarah Jane Crofts and Paul Gross (Illus), Rainbarrow P. May 1st 2002 ISBN: 0954266102
  • Hastings Jack in the Green by Keith Leech, Keith Leech April 1989 ISBN: 095144980X
  • Jack in the Green by Allen Atkinson, Crown Pub March 1989 ISBN: 0517565943
  • The Jack in the Green by Roy Judge, The Folklore Society ISBN: 0903515202
  • Jack in the Green article in White Dragon Imbolc (March) 2001
  • Jack in the Green in Tasmania 1844-1973 by Keith Leech, Folklore Society Library February 1989 ISBN: 1871903009
  • Jack in the Green, a May Day Custom by Roy Judge, D S Brewer January 31st 1979 ISBN: 0859910296
  • Sketches by Boz by Charles Dickens Chapter XX - The First of May

External links

  Results from FactBites:
Jack-in-the-Green festival in Hastings (692 words)
Jack is a winter form of the traditional character known as the Green Man, who represents the spirit of the forests.
Jack is escorted and carried by the bogies, with their faces painted green.
Behind Jack there are groups of drummers (dressed like bogies) and people carrying sponges soaked in green paint which are used to mark the noses of spectators.
History of Jack Green (205 words)
In the summer of 1935 during the San Francisco dock strike, Jack Green was a young Santa Rosa sign painter and activist who supported the labor organizing efforts of the apple pickers and cannery workers of Sonoma County.
Green was in his studio when the band broke in and seized him.
Green refused and was beaten until he complied, stripped of his clothing, covered with red paint and hot tar and feathers.
  More results at FactBites »



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